I wonder what your crystal ball would reveal for African American artists and their art in the coming years. As the art world turns, do you see African American artists gaining in terms of their place in our increasingly open global art market as well as here at home in the United States? What do you see going forward? Thank you for your commentary.
September 14, 2011

Well, that one has no good answer. but here goes… Women and minorities are grossly underrepresented in the Art World, historically it’s been a white, male world. If we look at the famous African-American artists of the second half of the 20th century we get few… Jean-Michel Basquiat, Martin Puryear, Kerry James Marshall and, of course, David Hammons. Today we have Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu, but we also have Mark Bradford, Glenn Ligon and why not Paul Pfeiffer. So, I think that these barriers are eroding, not because racial or gender lines have changed, but because the art market cares about the work, and not who made it. There are so many artists from so many different countries that appear in NY or London galleries, I think gender and race as well as nationality matter less and less, and in fact can work for an artist. I certainly believe that Chris Ofili’s position as the only YBA of color was to his benefit, but he had to make great work to earn his reknown. Sorry if this one even I can’t make black-and-white…